Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Favorite Book Tropes

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

I don't like to say I like a certain genre because I don't think a genre can be summed up into a whole one category. Sure, fantasy is fantasy but what about all the sub categories: urban fantasy and high fantasy and more. I certainly don't like every part of the fantasy genre so how can I say I like the genre itself. Instead, when pointing out favorite books, I discuss what I loved about them and usually it's not the genre, but certain tropes that made me fall in love.

Usually, if I can find books with these types of things, an automatic 5 star rating is in order. Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: Top 10 Favorite Book Tropes:

Traveling Abroad

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Books like: Wanderlost by Jen Malone | Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly | The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

Fauxmance

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Books like: To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han | Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance by Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin

Friends to Lovers

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Books like: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins | Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Cross Dressing Heroine

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Books like: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh | Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Morally Grey Characters

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Books like: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo | The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Royalty in Disguise

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Books like: Cinder by Marissa Meyer | The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Characters Stuck in Close Quarters Together

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Books like: By Your Side by Kasie West

Alternate Dimensions

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Books like: A Thousand Pieces Of You by Claudia Gray | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Small Town Vibes

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Books like: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs | Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley

Plot Revolving Around Games

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Books like: Deadly Little Voices by Laurie Faria Stolarz | If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

What are some of your favorite tropes?

Top Ten Tuesday

10 Book Cover Changes That I Loved and Hated

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

I love to collect books. The best times are when you find a hidden gem of a book with the perfect cover and you just have to face the cover out on the shelf for all to see. It's nice to look at. Except when the book series you're collecting changes its covers halfway through and now your book series doesn't match. Does anyone else hate that?


I love and hate cover changes. Sometimes it's for the better: maybe the newer covers are so much better than the old covers. And sometimes, it just doesn't make sense. Like, why change a perfect cover to begin with? Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: 10 Book Cover Changes That I Loved and Hated:


Royals by Rachel Hawkins: Not only did readers get a cover redesign, but we also got a title change. I do prefer the new cover over the older one. The original cover for Royals gives off old-school Princess Diaries vibes, whereas Prince Charming looks like those trendy new romance covers. I just think it's super cute.


Nina LaCour's books: Almost every single book of Nina LaCour's is getting a reboot to look more like her recent book, We Are Okay. And I'm okay with that. Her older books do look a bit dated. But with the new covers, the colors truly pop on the shelf.


Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers: Is the cover trend of girls in dresses behind us? Because... please, no. I think the wardrobe these cover designers get for these models are sometimes so gorgeous. As much as the new cover has a much more intricate crossbow than the older version has, I like the atmosphere from the older cover better. (Though, the new covers, being all one color each, help readers win at their rainbow shelves.)


An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir: I don't mind the new covers. Actually, the art is absolutely stunning on the new books. I'm just sad that I own the first two with the older series. Here comes decision time: do I repurchase the first two in the new covers or just ignore that they don't match the rest?


Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh: I'm so happy publishers are diversifying YA book covers. Young adults seeing themselves represented on covers is important and it's great that they made the change. And I can't even choose; I like both covers.


Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins: I'm indifferent about the new covers. I own the older covers and I think they're delightfully awkward. Sure, the a big title covers are trendy and definitely catch readers' eyes more.


The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski: I'm still mad that they changed these. Well, it's like I mentioned before: I like the cover trend of girls in pretty dresses. And in The Winner's Curse, Kestrel is the queen of kicking butt, all while wearing a dress.


The Diviners by Libba Bray: Was anyone so lucky as to get a copy of the original hardcover? Because it is gorgeous! I received an ARC of it before it released. But that hardcover is so pretty: with an engraved naked cover, and beautiful end pages. I wonder why the publishers changed it-- and keep changing the covers.


Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: As much as it saddens me when I have to replace the older cover with the newer cover, this series definitely needed a different cover. Though I do miss the sparkles the old cover had. It was shiny.


Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo: I love the new covers. The original covers are fine but they're not very colorful. I own the paperback new covers and the only problem I have with them is that the cover doesn't cover the entire book, it's a floppy soft cover that opens to a color piece of paper (since it features the cut-out of a deer). Not my favorite thing. However, the hardcovers are embossed and shiny.

Which covers are your favorites?

Tackling my TBR

Tackling My TBR: August 2019

Friday, August 02, 2019

Tackling My TBR is a monthly post, where I share my reading plans for the upcoming month. The concept of a TBR Jar is not a new one. I’ve seen it used in various ways throughout the bookish community. My jar will be a little different. The goal is to read the older books on my to-read pile. Thus, instead of putting individual book titles on a small sheet of paper to place in the jar, I wrote a month and a year on each. Each month, I intend to pull three sheets of paper from my jar which will dictate which three books I will read. The dates on the paper correspond with the date I added those books to my Goodreads account. Some months will have over 20 books to choose from, when others may have only one. From Goodreads, I’ll choose the three books from the three different monthly hauls. And if I cannot complete the book within the month, it will be unhauled (with the exception of one pass each month).



In July, I tackled books from my November 2017, April 2018, and March 2018 book hauls. It was a rather average month. I was able to fly through Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel early on in the month. As much as Noel’s older contemporaries are starting to show their age, this one was an okay read. I didn’t get around to Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier which is a shame because I was hoping for a chance to read it. Hopefully, in the coming autumn months, I’ll be able to finally pick it up. However, I did read Hidden by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast. Plus, I continued on with the next book, Revealed, in the series in hopes of getting closer to finishing it. At this point, I’m just hoping to finish the House of Night books as soon as possible. Twelve books in a series is such a long time to spend with such mediocre writing and just one story arc. I will definitely be pushing myself to read the last and final book by the end of the year.

From the jar, I picked March 2016, July 2013, and May 2016 book hauls. From there I chose the following books:


Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige: I’ve had this one on my shelf for forever. Retellings are one of my favorite types of books to read. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Wizard of Oz retelling before so I’m hoping for some great things. Dorothy is the first in a four-book series.

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, and Sarah Rees Brennan: Finally! I keep watching my unread Cassandra Clare books get higher and higher. And as much as I think about reading them, there’s always another book that seems to catch my eye. I have this one and Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy to get through and then I can begin her newest series, The Dark Artifices.

Unrivaled by Alyson Noel: I’m excited to get to a newer contemporary of Noel’s. I don’t know how I’m going to like this one since it focuses on a reality tv show and some major drama, but we shall see. Unrivaled is the first in the Beautiful Idols trilogy.

What are you planning on reading this month?

kickin' it

Kickin' It: July 2019 Wrap Up

Wednesday, July 31, 2019


July was a struggle. Well, I’m being a bit dramatic since I still was able to read 10 books. However, the motivation to actually read anything at all was an issue. Last year, around this time, I was knee-deep in a reading slump and I’ve been trying to avoid a repeat. There are a few books that I am super excited to read in August so hopefully, that will help spark more reading motivation in me. While I worry about potential reading slumps, let’s chat about the great books I read this month:



Well Met by Jen DeLuca (5 stars): This book was everything I wanted and didn’t know I needed. A romance set at a Renaissance Faire? It’s ingredients for the perfect novel! The writing was a bit rough in the beginning but as the story progressed, the writing improved immensely. Well Met by Jen DeLuca releases in September.

Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry (5 stars): A 5-star prediction came true! I haven’t read a Katie McGarry book since her debut, Pushing the Limits, released but I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to read more from her. Only a Breath Apart was fantastic, with a few unexpected dark elements and a looming family curse.

One Paris Summer by Denise Grover Swank (4 stars): Such a fun summer read! If you’re into traveling aboard stories with a lovely side of romance, One Paris Summer is definitely for you. 


Laguna Cove by Alyson Noel (2.5 stars): I’ve been making my way through all of Noel’s older contemporaries, in anticipation to finally pick up her newer books. Laguna Cove was okay. It was a rather simple plot that left off in the middle of most of the side characters' stories. 

Neverwake by Amy Plum (4 stars): I finished the Dreamfall duology. It was great, incredibly action packed and well-written. Amy Plum is such an underrated author and her books are always fantastic!

Maid by Stephanie Land (3 stars): This memoir was promoted as being the next Nickel and Dimed (a book I loved back in high school). It definitely was not and the most direct difference between the two was Nickel and Dimed was about a journalist investigating what it’s like to live on minimum wage in the US, whereas Maid is about a mother living with her baby in various homeless shelters and working as a maid for less than minimum wage. It’s a difficult read and at times, extremely upsetting. The depiction of Stephanie’s family made me so troubled. Plus, the ending just ended and I was hoping for just a bit more.


With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (4 stars): I adored this one. The passion for food and the protagonist’s struggle as a teen mom was great. I would say this book is a bit more character driven than plot driven. Still, I loved it and it made me hungry with all the descriptions of mouthwatering food!

Hidden by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (3 stars): I’m trying to complete this series by the end of the year. And I’m not even enjoying it. Hidden is the 10th book in the House of Night series. It’s endlessly repetitive with the same villain since book one. It seems the longer the series goes on, the worse the characters are to their friends. It’s infuriating.

Revealed by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast (2 stars): Ugh. I’m pushing myself to read these House of Night books at this point. I have one more after this and then I’m done! Still the same villain. Plus, everyone is angry in this book and… why?


Black Dawn by Rachel Caine (4 stars): The Morganville Vampire series is also a series I’m hoping to complete by the end of the year. And I’m actually enjoying these books. As much as these books (Black Dawn is the 12th book in the series) are a bit repetitive, the newest story arc Caine is putting her characters through is so compelling. I mean, the monsters are made from water so beware of sinks, tubs, and even that glass of water on the table. Black Dawn was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to continue!


How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman (8/6/19): After reading The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman, I made a point to read more from her and her newest release sounds fantastic! Some small town vibes, a possible haunting, and of course a romance! 

Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Perez (8/27/19): The sequel to Black Sweet Waves and I am ready for it! Black Sweet Waves is a retelling of the tragic tale of Tristan and Isolde. I’m hoping Wild Savage Stars picks up right where we left off.

Here There Are Monsters by Amelinda Berube (8/1/19): This one sounds so spooky! When her sister goes missing, there’s scratching on her window claiming that Skye is the only one who can save her. Sounds like the perfect book to devour during October.



There were so many movies and shows to watch this month! I watched Stranger Things season 3 and as much as I don’t think it was the best season, I thought it was good. I was able to catch a showing of Spiderman: Far From Home which I thought was cute with a few surprising twists. The Lion King live action film was good but I still prefer the animated version. (I’m looking forward to the Mulan live action, doesn’t that trailer look amazing!) I, also, saw Annabelle Comes Home which was my least favorite of the three Annabelle movies. And I also discovered that since the director of The Conjuring had a hand in a few superhero movies, that Annabelle makes a cameo in each one. So I watched Shazam! to get a glimpse of the creepy doll. Overall, it was a good movie month!

joe keery secret handshake GIF by Stranger Things

How was your July? Did you read any amazing books? Did you watch any fantastic shows/movies?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Settings I Need More Of In Books

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Settings are so important in stories. They can build the atmosphere of the plot: can add danger to a story or calm a character down with a breathtaking view. And as much as settings are significant, why do readers see a lot of the same settings recycled over and over again. New York City is a place that is a bit overused but it's also a place most people can picture since they've probably been there or seen pictures. Boarding schools, a setting I love, is the backdrop for many novels these days. Space is the perfect setting for science fiction books.


I came up with 10 settings that I rarely see in books and would love to see more of. Imagine going on an adventure in these places: the possibilities are endless! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is: Top 10 Settings I Need More Of in Books:

Desert

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I don't read a lot of books that are set in the desert. However, I think it would be an amazing place to visit in a book. There is a certain danger with a book being set in the desert, the lack of water really increases the stakes. 

Romania 

Unless it's a book about vampires, I rarely see books visit Romania. And why not? The history is rich and dark. The architecture is gorgeous. This is a place that books need to be set!

Underground Cities/ Underwater Cities

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You know, like Atlantis? The idea of finding a lost city, hidden from the rest of the world, would be so much fun. I've never read a book where this happens. Have you?

Theme Park

There's a section in the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson where the squad decides to lay low in Disney World. It's probably one of the most memorable scenes of that entire series. It's so much fun. They're all running away from bad guys while enjoying rides and eating all the theme park food. I need more rollercoasters in the books I read.

Chernobyl

There is so much a book could do with a setting like Chernobyl. Chernobyl is an abandoned city in Ukraine where a nuclear power plant exploded in the 1980's. It's radiation levels are still so high that people are not allowed to live there, to do this day. With a setting like Chernobyl, it could be a horror book. It could be a lost civilization scenario-- they're all living underground, maybe. This could be a science fiction book. The possibilities are endless!

Town Near a Volcano

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When I was younger, it was very common to see a TV show where a volcano erupted and the main character had to struggle to find shelter. Now that I think of it, I've never read a book where a protagonist lives near a volcano. Where are all the authors at? I would love to read about all these settings!

Safari

Forget about those road trip books, what about going on a safari? 

Renaissance Faire

I'm currently reading Well Met by Jen DuLuca which is a summer romance set at a Renaissance Faire. And why is this not a more common setting? This is the best! Actors get to dress up and act as if they're part of the Elizabethan era. There's jousting and a human chess board, plus turkey legs and bread bowls, all in a modern backdrop. Love it!

Alaska

There's a lot of books set in America. However, most of the books that release are in the bigger/more well-known states like New York, Illinois, California, Washington, and Texas. (Wouldn't it be awesome to find some stats on which states are most books set in?) More books need to be set in Alaska.

Abandoned Prison

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You may have noticed a theme here. I like abandoned places; they're creepy. Last summer, I visited the Eastern State Penitentiary and it was absolutely amazing! I'm not entirely sure what kind of books could take place at abandoned prisons, unless it was a ghost story. However, it would still be fantastic!

What settings would you love to see more of in books?